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Duo

Julian Vickers and Daniel Bovey

 

Classical guitar duo

 

Saturday, 22nd November 2013

7.45 pm

Cosy Hall

 
 
 PROGRAMME

 Mauro Guiliani (1781-1829) Grandi Variazioni Concertante
 Stephen Dodgson (1924-2013)Promenade 
 Domenico scarlatti (1685-1757) Sonata in B Minor K841 (trans. M. Eden)
 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)Sonata in D Minor K466 (trans. S. Abreu) 
 André Jolivet (1905-1974)Sérénade pour Deux Guitares 
 Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)Tonadilla 
 Astor Piazolla (1921-1992)Tango Suite 

 

 Julian Vickers and Daniel Bovey are both currently studying at Birmingham Conservatoire in their third year, under the tuition of Mark Ashford. Both are individual winners of the Birmingham Conservatoire Guitar Prize, and as a duo have recently won the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music Competition, the Derek Young Memorial Award, and were finalists in the Birmingham Town Hall/ Symphony Hall Prize. They have been performing as a guitar duo since 2010, and have an avid interest in new and contemporary music, frequently performing new works. Past concerts have included recitals with soprano Iuno Connolly and a tour of ’36 Views of Mount Fuji’, a collection of 36 short pieces written for them by Ryan Probert. Future performances include recitals for Winchester Guitar Festival, Birmingham Chamber Music Society and the premiere of a new duo concerto composed by Paul Norman.

 
 Programme Notes for the Concert:
 
Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) – Grandi Variazioni Concertante

Giuliani was, by all accounts, a true virtuoso. Born in South Italy, he made his name in
Vienna where countless reviews praised his ‘agility, control and delicacy’ and his ‘musical
perfection’. Giuliani contributed a vast amount to the guitar’s repertoire; his complete
works span 39 volumes and still form a large part of a guitarist’s concert and competition
repertoire. Grandi Variazioni Concertante contains a quasi-operatic introductory passage
followed by the theme and its six subsequent variations.

Stephen Dodgson (1924-2013) – Promenade I
Stephen Dodgson, who passed away earlier this year, was a distinguished composer for the
guitar, having produced the largest number of solo guitar works by any one non-guitarist
composer, alongside many chamber works including the guitar. In a varied career also
including professorship at the Royal College of Music, presenting radio and television
broadcasts and writing essays and reviews in many musical publications, Dodgson worked
closely with some of the greatest modern guitarists including Julian Bream, John Williams
and the Eden-Stell guitar duo. Dodgson’s musical style is independent of the 20th century
trends of avant-garde, serialist or minimalist music, he was influenced highly by composers
including Domenico Scarlatti and Janacek.

Dodgson wrote:
Promenade I pictures the two players at a seaside resort, taking an afternoon stroll. They set
out full of joy and energy, sunlight dazzling over the water, and soon come upon an aviary.
Resuming the promenade, a sheltered spot is reached with an inviting seat in the sun
.
 
But the peace is abruptly shattered by a dogfight, which causes the promenaders to move on
hurriedly, the dogs barking at their heels. Happily, another peaceful and inviting seat is
found, but repose this time is interrupted by a sudden sea-mist, dark at first but dazzling
later. In the stillness, distant echoes of an old-world merry-go-round can just be made out.
The homeward walk brings it in full view, its sounds harmonising with the evening sun.

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) – Sonata in B Minor K87 (trans. M. Eden)
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) – Sonata in D Minor K141 (trans. S. Abreu)

Born in Naples in 1685, Domenico was the sixth of the ten children of the eminent Italian
composer Alessandro Scarlatti. Domenico was primarily taught keyboard by his father, who
was maestro di cappella to the Spanish viceroy, giving his first public concert in 1701. In
1709, whilst living in Rome, Domenico found himself competing in a keyboard contest
against Handel, where he was declared the better harpsichordist, with Handel being
declared the better organist. Scarlatti is best known for his 555 keyboard sonatas; we will
be playing K87 in B Minor, and K141, a Toccata in D Minor.

André Jolivet (1905-1974) -
 
Sérénade pour Deux Guitares
Praeludio y Canzona
 Allegro Trepidante
Con Malinconico
Con Allegria

Sérénade pour Deux Guitares was written in 1956 for the highly esteemed French guitar
duo, Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya. Jolivet’s interest in ancient music and the music of
other cultures is shown throughout the piece; all movements have a very obvious jazz
influence, and the ideas of African drumming can be heard with many intricate rhythms
continually passed between guitars.

Interval
Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999) –
 
Tonadilla
Allegro ma non Troppo
Minueto Pomposo
Allegro vivace
Joaquin Rodrigo was born on St. Cecilia’s day, the patron saint of music, on November the
22nd 1901. He is famed as the composer of the Concierto de Aranjuez, by far the most well
known piece written for the guitar, despite the fact that he was not a guitarist himself.
Rodrigo composed in a style which he called Neocasticismo, a style that combines influences from Spanish folk music- including flamenco- and the renaissance, baroque and classical eras. The Tonadilla was a popular form of theatrical song of a satirical nature in the 18th century. Both the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Tonadilla are exemplary works of
Neocasticismo, although on first hearing the opening of the Tonadilla sounds remarkably
different to the concerto. After the mechanical first movement, which features many of
Rodrigo’s signature clashing minor seconds, the remaining two movements reveal lyricism
and humour more distinctive of the sound commonly associated with Rodrigo’s music.

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) – Tango Suite

Founder of the “Nuevo Tango”, Argentinean born Piazzolla became a musically controversial
figure in his native land, before his reworking of the tango was embraced in Europe and
North America.
Piazzolla’s three movement Tango Suite was composed for the breath-taking Brazilian guitar
duo of Sergio & Odair Assad in 1983. The Assad’s initially arranged one of Piazzolla’s pieces, Escolaso, for guitar duo and performed it to the composer at a dinner party in Paris in
October 1983. Later that year the duo were taken by surprise when, back in Brazil, they
received the score for the now famous Tango Suite.